Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 16th July

I have started getting into the swing of exercising in Joburg (as opposed to Sedge / Gonubie, where it is much easier and I have more time). Today I went for a run and a walk. Both of which were great fun.

I ran about 3kms – most of the way, although I did have to walk a bit to let myself recover before setting off again. Sometimes when I run, my lungs just don’t manage to keep up, or my legs may get sore. These days, it’s neither of those problems that stops me – it just feels as though my whole body is drained and needs a little time to gather its resources again.

I also went to gym yesterday. That was pretty much a flying visit, as I had to fit it in between doing lifts and meetings. It was also fun, though, and a change of pace.

At gym, when I was changing, there was a woman who walked to the scale (pretty much nude, as people are wont to do in a gym changing room, for some reason). She held her one hand on her opposite shoulder, effectively hiding one breast. That made me realise that it wasn’t the breast she was hiding, but the absence of one.

I almost felt that I wanted to say something to her along the lines of ‘Me too’, but it felt awkward and not exactly appropriate. It did make me think, though. There we were, two of about maybe 40 (at a high estimate) women in the gym at the time, both of whom had had a mastectomy, that I knew for a fact. How many other women in the gym had had one? Perhaps none, perhaps one / two.

I wonder what the percentage of women is who have actually had the procedure done. I think it’s more than we realise.

I spoke to Bridget again this evening. We were comparing notes about our joint family and wondering what they must all be thinking about the coincidence of the two of us having the same thing, found at very different stages – and both with absolutely no acknowledged risk factors.

Both Bridge and I find it reassuring and supportive to be able to chat. I think the main reason for this is that we both know that the other truly knows what this is all about and how it feels. She has 3 more weekly chemos to go before surgery. Still a long path, but she is treading it bravely and with strength and absolute conviction. She, too, will overcome.

Maybe one day in the not too distant future, one of us may cross the seas and we can truly be survivors together!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *